The Black and white challenge…and a car : )

Made the featured section : )

Let me just say that I went a “little” overboard with this challenge. Making lots of “stuff” was my way of dealing with the hard stuff. Hey, I got some useful items out of it AND cleaned out some fabric from one of my boxes : )

The Facts Fabric: Three different black/white fabrics from stash; black and white stretch cottons, white lining
Pattern: Dress loosely based on Simplicity 2648; skirt #1 based on Simplicity 2928; skirt # 2 Simplicity 2723; skirt #3 self drafted; sweater re-fashioned
Notions: 7 covered buttons, miscellaneous bits of interfacing, 3 sets hooks-n-eyes, 3 zippers all from stash
Year: 1940s and 1950′s
Time to complete
: For all 5 pieces, 7 hours
First worn: November 2012
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost: ~$23.00

Hang on to your hats, I was busy this week! I’ll start with my ORIGINAL inspiration. I’ve had this dress on one of my Pinterest boards for a while now and it keeps getting re-pinned. I didn’t design it, I just liked the graphic quality of it so why not make it?

I did : )

How CUTE is this?!

I used Simplicity 2648 for the jumping off point. The skirt, sleeves and back bodice are all cut straight from the pattern but I re-drafted the front to include that v-shaped center bodice piece, cut the neckline higher and gathered the fullness over the boobies. The collar is a long bias cut rectangle that I cut in half lengthwise and sewed white piping down the center. It folds over and is tacked with three covered buttons, the middle one holding on that little bow/flap piece. You can see the original dress here but I will warn you, they have a picture of one useless socialite wearing a version that made me nearly spit out my tea.

This is a sort-of outtake shot but what you can see nicely is the engraved bumper of this amazing motor vehicle : )

I am channeling my best Bonnie Parker here –

This MOST AMAZING car is a 1940 Packard that is BEAUTIFULLY restored! I’ve been “saving” the opportunity to use this for something really special and this is it : ) And because I’m such a lucky girl I couldn’t just do ONE outfit this week, could I?

OK, seriously…I didn’t plan on making the “extras”. This is what happened – digging through my sweater collection I came across a black cashmere that I set aside because other than it being an icky turtle neck ( I can’t stand turtle necks) it didn’t have any holes or issues. I had been wanting a lower cut sweater just to wear to work and when I found this I knew what I was going to do:

It took me a whole 20 minutes to cut the neck off and then down, cut the nice ribbing off the hem and overlock it around the neck edge, finishing it off beautifully. 20 minutes, $2 sweater, now something I will wear at least once a week. AND because I had processed this as if I were going to make a Katwise coat with it it went through the washer and dryer so it will never need to go to the dry cleaners and I won’t worry about who does the laundry : )

That became the basis for the next three skirt outfits. Why? Because I went through my box of black fabrics around Wednesday night and pulled out a poly plaid, a black cotton with white polka dots and a piece of wool houndstooth. I “save” things to make something “special” with “one day”.

Special Number One:

The plaid was in the half-off section at Joann’s last year, I paid $1.50 a yard and had three yards. I love the way the plaid looks here:

So I used the skirt pieces to cut out my skirt. I didn’t pleat the waist, I like basic gathers. The good news is I may have enough scraps left over to make a top to go with this and have a pretty party outfit.

In the future I’m going to try a petticoat under it, I just didn’t have enough time today to think about it. We were moving things along pretty quickly trying to beat both the rain and the setting sun : )

Not only did my friend John pull out his Packard and take pictures for me but he also pulled out the fabulous hat I’ve got on as well as many pairs of vintage earrings that he then threw into a bag when we were done and insisted I take home. I had a great time with someone telling me where to put my hands, what to not worry about and that I was pretty. It never hurts to hear, and at the very bottom of this post I’ll add a pic that I took BEFORE I brushed my hair and did my make-up, just after my girl friend and I planted 5 35-gallon blueberry bushes and a new locust tree in my yard. It’s never dull around here that’s for sure!

So now I run into the house, change my skirt and nylons, find a new hat and toss the bracelets. We have outfit/skirt number 2:

The houndstooth wool has been sitting in various boxes for at least 14 years, maybe longer. When we had the flood at school in 1996 I lost almost everything but I’m guessing, since there is a slight blue dye transfer here and there, that this piece might have been one of the few things that survived. It’s black and white, time to come play! I used the same pattern I used for my Autumn challenge outfit. I like the fact that the front is perfectly flat, there are no darts, and the side seams are set slightly back instead of right at the sides. There are two darts in back to help fit and instead of the side slit I moved it to the center back. I was sewing happily along Saturday night, patting myself on the back for keeping within my “If it can be done in an hour then you can make one more item” agenda, when THIS happened:

What you are looking at is the center back, with the zipper and back seam sewn on the WRONG side of the fabric! It was time to go to bed at that point. It only took me 15 minutes to pull out the zipper, un-stitch and re-stitch that back seam but it was a real head shaking moment.

Fortunately it all worked out well : ) Isn’t that car STUNNING??

Back into the house for skirt/outfit number 3:

John has an antique silk top hat. He shared : ) I’m told ankle boots are the hot trend this year, I’m not so sure but I’ll give it a go.

The black/white polka dot fabric is cotton/lycra and been in my box for a while. I didn’t realize it had lycra in it when I bought it to make a tie so I set it aside. Again saving it for “some day”. I used no pattern, just measured around my hips and cut a piece big enough to go ’round. Then I wrapped it around me, marked and stitched four darts and the center back seam which includes a kick pleat. Instead of a waistband I threw on a piece of 3″ wide elastic, no zipper and hemmed it. Took an hour. (I used the same ‘pattern’ for my Location challenge skirt, not that you could see much of it!)

And because this is the Black and White challenge I transferred a couple of the photos to black and white –

The hood ornament of the Packard is a cormorant. And as Steve said “Be careful around that thing, it’s sharp!” Yes indeedy it is, every one of those feather tips is sharp enough to cause some decent damage.

Playing around with photoshop we made a watercolor of this pic:

Finally, here is my “Driving Miss Daisy” shot:

And because I promised at the beginning of the post, here is me without ANY make-up, hair askew and dirty:

FIVE challenges to go!! What on EARTH are we going to do in 5 weeks?!


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